The rooster would crow at about six o’clock in the morning, warning me that I had about an hour left of slumber. The sixty minutes would feel like sixteen, and before I knew it, I would have to be up and ready for the morning milking. The rest of the day I would spend either tending to livestock, driving tractors around the fields, or doing general maintenance. This summer, as many could probably gather from the blatant hints, I spent about three months on a farm in... (drum roll please) Iceland! Normally, I wouldn’t like honking my own horn in the admissions section, but this blog will serve as an aberration from the typical topics, as I sincerely believe that working on a farm was a didactic experience for my educational endeavors. How? I’m so glad you asked, for I now cordially present;
How an Alternative Summer Helped my Studies and Why You Should Consider One Too: A Novella
I know dichotomy of farming and university might at first glance seems on opposite ends of the spectrum (unless you go to CSU), but hopefully after reading about my experiences on a farm, some overlaps between the two might reveal themselves. First example, the long days on the farm. Between caring for the cows and sheep and tending to the fences and fields they enclose, you would often find yourself working from sunrise to sunset (it’s a funny joke because the farm was in Iceland... in the summer) and even after 12-15 hours of almost non-stop working, you’d still be looking for things to do. These farm hours might seem jovially daunting, however now that I’m back in class, the 50 minute lectures breeze by in the blink of an eye. Not to mention, the hours you spend doing homework outside of class, when compared to cleaning up after some “intestinally healthy”, seems like child’s play. As frosting on top of that delicious cupcake I just prepared for you, perfection is key on a farm. If the push for perfection was able to roll over from farming to your studies, who even knows the exponential benefits you would gain.
In addition, being on a farm can teach you some healthy habits for your productivity—such as the 5-10 minute rule. By this, I’m talking about doing a task right there and then if it can be done in 5-10 minutes. Chicken’s need feeding? Done. Another sheep got out of the fence? I’m on it. This transposed into an academic field could do wonders. The habit fights procrastination and teaches oneself to be proactive about just buckling down and getting things done. Most importantly, though, is the habit of persistence. On a farm, you can’t stop birthing a lamb when it’s halfway out and decide to come back to it later. No. Schoolwork, like farm work, should be stuck to until it is done to the best of one’s ability. This is probably the most helpful piece of advice that Farmer Ben could give—stick with a job until it’s done.
I do encourage each and every one of you who is reading this blog to go out and get your hands dirty, as I firmly believe that the best way to make good habits and lifestyles is by immersion. Unfortunately, I realize that with the first of two semesters in full swing, it might not be too possible, so I hope I can summarize. The main purpose I’m trying to portray here is, think of school like a farm. You have to go to your regular milking sessions (classes, milking the info out of a professor), tend to your livestock (homework) and make sure no animals run away (grades), and you have to care for your fields (yourself) and make sure they grow in as perfectly as possible. And on that note of some atrocious analogies, until next week.